FIFA World Cup Statistics with Tableau

FIFA World Cup statistics by team from 1930 to 2006 visualized with Tableau Software

World Cup Statistics per Team - click to enlarge I have to admit, I am a little late: The FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa already started yesterday. And of course there have already been a couple of interesting posts on visualizing the World Cup statistics elsewhere:

Chandoo had a couple of nice posts using Microsoft Excel: FIFA World Cup Excel Spreadsheets, Football Betting Sheet Template and Official FIFA World-cup Soccer Balls since 1930 in an Excel Chart.

Ross Perez provided a very interesting visualization of the History of the World Cup on Tableau’s own blog, focused on winning and tie percentages.

Better late than never. Today’s post includes my 2 cents: a visualization of the FIFA World Cup Statistics since 1930, using Tableau Software and focused on the performance and match statistics per team.

The data source

Where would you go to download FIFA World Cup raw data? Of course, the official website of the FIFA, right? So did I. Here is the link to the data source:

FIFA.com – Previous FIFA World Cups™

The Visualization with Tableau Software

The basic idea of the visualization is to focus on the performance of one selected team during all World Cups:

  • select one team from a drop down list
  • visualize the results of this team in all World Cups
  • visualize the wins, draws and losses per World Cup
  • visualize the goals for and the goals against
  • compare some match statistics like matches played, shots on goal, etc, and
  • compare some fair play measures like yellow and red cards and fouls

Here is the dashboard:

FIFA World Cup Statistics - click to open the interactive visualization on Tableau Public[click on the image to open the interactive visualization on Tableau Public]

The Limitations

There are some specifics and limitations coming with the raw data and the visualization:

  • Not all match statistics (e.g. like shots on goal, shots wide or free kicks, etc.) were recorded consistently from 1930 on. The source data of this visualization includes what the FIFA provides.
  • In order to consolidate the raw data as far as possible, I decided to merge some team names. I replaced the former Soviet Union by Russia, the former Republic of Yugoslavia by Serbia, Czechoslovakia by Czech Republic, etc. Agreed, this is not really correct, but it simplifies the visualization.
  • I am well aware of the fact that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have flags of their own. Unfortunately those flags were not included in the icon set I used. Thus, I used the Union Jack for all of them. Not really correct, but not totally wrong.

What’s next?

I struggled a little bit using Custom Shapes with Tableau for this visualization. Therefore I decided to write one or two posts on Custom Shapes of Tableau: their power, their limitations and some tricks and workarounds.

Stay tuned.

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